Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

By Philip E Tetlock, Dan Gardner (2015)

… the more famous an expert was, the less accurate he was. That’s not because editors, producers, and the public go looking for bad forecasters. They go looking for hedgehogs, who just happen to be bad forecasters.

Foxes don’t fare so well in the media. They’re less confident, less likely to say something is “certain” or “impossible,” and are likelier to settle on shades of “maybe.” And their stories are complex, full of “howevers” and “on the other hands,” because they look at problems one way, then another, and another. This aggregation of many perspectives is bad TV.

My Notes

Meehl’s claim upset many experts, but subsequent research—now more than two hundred studies—has shown that in most cases statistical algorithms beat subjective judgment, and in the handful of studies where they don’t, they usually tie.

Hedgehogs 🦔

… hedgehogs tell tight, simple, clear stories that grab and hold audiences.

Foxes 🦊

Wisdom of the crowds:


Beyond the forecasting horizon, plan for surprise

Obviously, a forecast without a time frame is absurd.

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